To be honest, we didn’t technically know what they were called when we found them at one of our favorite antique markets. This particular merchant was closing up business, pushing everything out of his booth for 90% off. A few records were propped against the wall, an old floral chair sat alone, and these two ladies were hung on the wall with a simple tack, on sale for $3.50:
I don’t know if we were just out of the whole old-timey loop or what, but for a few months, we referred to them as our “lady busts” (heh) and until we were ready to give them a makeover, we stashed them in our end table and kind of just forgot about them. But while catching up on over hundreds (!) of blog posts a few months ago, we stumbled upon this post from the lovely Nichole of Parlour Home (you may remember her friendly drop-in not too long ago?). Not only did we finally begin calling them the more appropriate cameo, but it also got a fire under my you-know-what and we pulled them out of storage.
And then they hung out for two more months, and then we got to work.
Knowing we weren’t a fan of the blue and ivory, Scott and I toyed with a few other color combos, everything from a stark black and white to a more subtle gray, or even just keeping the blue but ridding that worn-in white (just not our style). But after deciding they’d look pretty neat-o above our bedroom door, we thought what the hay and went balls out for the black and white, thinking they’d play nicely off our wallpaper on the opposite wall. Of course, Nichole’s cameos were an inspiration, so I got to work, starting with a can of on-hand glossy white.
Preferring a more matte look – but not wanting to run to the ‘burbs for a can of flat white – I took a can of matte varnish and coated the glossy finish. Not sure it would turn out how I’d imagined, I was pleasantly surprised that while it wasn’t perfectly flat, it was pretty darn close. We’d take it.
Once the cameos were good and dry, I took a pencil and very lightly traced the lines of where I’d like the black to go. Although that probably wasn’t necessary, it did help to guide my brush and make for a much faster, efficient process. Using an acrylic matte black paint, I went back over my pencil lines and then filled the rest in.
Two coats of white spray paint, one spritz of varnish, and two layers of black acrylics completed the look. Any doubts we originally had over the graphic black and white went away as soon as we saw the easy playfulness of the cameos against the wallpaper.
Our neutral gray hallways further set off the bright whites, and we’re thrilled with the new, simple art. Our back burner project turned out to be easy breezy, taking all of two hours (including the time it took me to stubbornly wedge our massive ladder in the narrow hall and hammer two nails. Scott was at work and I was impatient; big surprise).
And speaking of lost projects, I still have an empty wreath form and bags of buttons on my closet floor. Which reminds me I need to weed through unworn clothes and start a donation pile. This, in turn, makes me wonder if my closet is making the best of the small amount of storage available – not to mention, my man could use an overhaul, too.
In preparation of spring (no, it’s not too early to say that), is anyone else picking up loose ends around the house? Any other afternoon projects you’d like to tackle before we spend our days in flip flops and doggie parks? And how did I go from painting cameos to Christmas wreaths to closet purging? I’m, like, two years old. (Or maybe just stir crazy.)
Ooh, I love how they complement your wallpaper and gray walls. Awesome! And I too am in a closet-purging frenzy. Must be a pre-Spring cleaning impulse.
Those are just lovely! We had our crazy purgefest a few weeks ago, while the weather was warm. But many projects left unfinished, so spring is still on its way!
I admit I was skeptical at first, but no … you’ve done it again. I love it! You’ve got me itching to try something similar …
Love how modern the cameos now look! I have the same thought process, too. ADD of decorationg. I always start something, go on to the next, then the next and finally come back to finish it. If I don’t feel like doing it, it’s probably not worth the effort at the time. :)
This looks fantastic. I looove cameos. The wallpaper ain’t too shabby either!
My husband has already started on some spring cleaning, from a general perspective. But we’ve got our eyes on cleaning out our 1 hall closet and all our kitchen cabinets! Plus I’ve got some sewing projects to get done (clothes, cross-stitching, curtain making). So yes, I’m with you – let’s get a move on!
So cool!! Way to take those cameos from antique-looking to modern! I love your gray hallways too.
I love the new busts! Er… cameos. I love how your hallway is black, white and gray- it’s such an cool contrast with the colors in the rest of the house.
Thank you so much, all!
This is fabulous!!
This is great! I love how beautiful they look on your grey walls.